One of the best things about having enough, being in control of your finances, and not having to deal with financial stress on a regular basis, is being able to put this financial security to good use through supporting causes and communities you care about.
If you have room in your budget this month, I highly suggest donating to one or more of the following:
Since this is a personal finance blog, I wanted to make sure to include at least one organization that is doing year-round work directly related to closing the racial wealth divide in the United States.
If wealth accumulation remains at the same rate it has been among black households, it is estimated that it will take 228 years for black Americans to reach the same level of wealth white households enjoy today.
Prosperity Now and its African American Financial Capability Initiative is doing work to combat this trend, with programs across the county, including the Twin Cities.
Here’s a video of St. Paul Mayor, Melvin Carter talking about the benefits of Prosperity Now’s data on influencing policy.
BEAM’s mission “is to remove the barriers that Black people experience getting access to or staying connected with emotional health care and healing. We do this through healing justice based organizing, education, training, grant making and advocacy.”
Equal Justice Under Law works to end wealth based discrimination in the justice system by fighting pre-trial money bail, wealth-based driver’s license suspensions, debtor’s prisons, abusive private probation practices, and other areas of wealth-based inequality in our justice system.
National Bail Funds
- The Freedom Fund (usually prioritizes transgender people, currently prioritizing all LGBTQ people)
- The Bail Project (operates in several cities across the United States)
- The National Bail Fund Network
- Black & Pink’s National Bail Fund
Local Bail Funds in the United States
These are organized alphabetically by state. Not all states have operating bail funds and not all states (including Washington D.C.) have cash bail. We’ll update this list as we find more organizations that are running permanent or temporary bail funds.
- Montgomery Bail Out (Montgomery, AL)
- Community Bail Fund (Orlando)
- Tampa Bay Community Support Fund (Tampa)
- The Florida Justice Center’s Bail Fund (statewide)
- Jacksonville Community Support Fund (Duval county)
- Minnesota Freedom Fund (this organization has requested that you send donations elsewhere, due to the remarkable number of donations they’ve received)
- Unitarian Universalist Action New Hampshire Bail Fund (bails out people who cannot pay from Valley Street Jail)
- Brooklyn Bail Fund
- NYC Emergency Release Fund (focused on bailing out transgender people, currently expanded to include all LGBTQ people)
- The Liberty Fund
- NC Community Bail Fund of Durham
- Charlotte Uprising Bail Fund
- Take Action Chapel Hill Anti-Racist Activist Fund (Orange, Chatham, and Wake counties)
- Columbus Freedom Fund
- Beloved Community Church Bail Fund (Cinncinnati — choose an amount and designate to ‘bail fund’ on the next page)
- Portland Freedom Fund (note: their website is currently down and they have indicated that you can donate through their fiscal sponsor, the Northwest Aliance for Alternative Media and Education. More info here)
- PDX Protest Bail Fund
- Dauphin County Bail Fund
- Philadelphia Community Bail Fund
- Philly Bail Fund
- Bukit Bail Fund (Pittsburgh)
- Nashville Community Bail Fund
- Memphis Community Bail Fund
- Hamilton County Community Bail Fund
- Mid-South Peace & Justice Center — BLM Community Bail Fund (Memphis)
- Faith in Texas Luke 4:18 Bail Fund (Dallas)
- Restoring Justice (Houston)
- TX Organizing Project Bail Out Fund (Harris, Dallas, Bexar counties)
- 400+1 Bail Fund (Austin)
- Northwest Community Bail Fund (Seattle)
- Free the 350 Bail Fund (Dane County)
Other Places to Donate
The Minnesota Freedom Fund has fortunately had donations pour in and are now recommending other various Minneapolis based organizations (some of which are listed below).
This GoFundMe was set up by George Floyd’s younger sister, Bridgett Floyd, to offer some financial support to his daughter and family who were left behind. His brother, Philonise Floyd, is also managing a GoFundMe for the Floyd family.
On May 27, 2020, Tony McDade (a Black trans man) was shot and killed by a member of the Tallahassee Police Department. Funds will go to Tony’s mother, Wanda.
On February 23, 2020, Ahmaud Arbery was out for a jog when two men made the racist assumption that he was the suspect behind some break-ins. They chased him down in their vehicle and shot him, killing him. This GoFundMe will support his family after death.
Straight from the Black Visions Collective website: “Since 2017, Black Visions Collective has been putting into practice the lessons learned from organizations before us in order to shape a political home for Black people across Minnesota. We aim to center our work in healing and transformative justice principles, intentionally develop our organization’s core “DNA” to ensure sustainability, and develop Minnesota’s emerging Black leadership to lead powerful campaigns. By building movements from the ground up with an integrated model, we are creating the conditions for long term success and transformation.”
A mutual aid group and group of street medics providing resources and healthcare to those on the ground.
Throughout the year they provide trainings, continuing education, online resources, and events.
Reclaim the Block is doing work to push Minneapolis to invest in community-led safety solutions and prevention work, rather than an increased police presence.
From the Reclaim the Block website: “We stand with our neighbors and community organizations who are doing work on the ground to provide safety and services for our neighbors, who are often being told that “there’s not enough money to go around.” Minneapolis has continued to increase its police budget each year, without putting even a fraction of those resources toward solutions that really work….As members of the Minneapolis community, we know that access to housing, youth services, harm reduction, and protections for low-wage workers help keep our communities more safe and more stable.”
CUABP runs a 24-hour hotline in addition to their education and advocacy work. Their hotline allows you to report incidents of police brutality and connect with resources.
From their website: “If you, or a loved one is in need of legal assistance, or has been arrested while fighting injustice across the nation, please complete the form below with as much detail as possible.” They will then connect with you to get you legal support. Their mission is to “advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders.”
If you don’t have extra funds to donate this month, try to redirect some of the money you were planning to spend on needed purchases to black-owned businesses online or in your community.
And to myself and my fellow white readers, we must keep learning, keep giving, and keep grieving. The news cycle may decide that this is no longer breaking news, but that doesn’t mean our hearts should stop breaking too.
Keep this anger, keep this sadness, and keep this line in your budget.